Huge steps

16-year-old surprises family, himself on live TV: “I’m bisexual”

A very bold 16-year-old boy has proved an excellent primer on how to sidestep the potential awkwardness of telling friends and family about their sexuality: You can just surprise yourself by announcing your proclivities on national TV.

For BBC Newsbeat’s “Generation Misunderstood?” program, on September 26, producers invited 80 sixteen to twenty-two-year-olds to discuss whether older generations need to loosen up about race, gender, and sexuality.

Related: Someone hacked Shawn Mendes’ Twitter to write a fake coming out message. Guess how fans reacted?

One unusually brave audience member, a 16-year-old named Andy, surprised himself by making a life-altering announcement in front of an audience of thousands of people.

“This is actually a really big thing for me,” he says. “This is the first time I’ve ever admitted it in public.

“I am bisexual.

I think it’s been really difficult for me to come out to the stage, especially to people at school because there is so much stereotyping and so many presumptions around it, and people assuming you are a certain way because of how you act or because of who you are attracted to, when in reality it’s something you can’t control.

People treat it like you’re in the wrong, like you’re committing some kind of sin when I’m hard-wired that way, it’s not something I can change.”

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17 Comments

  • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

    With all due respect to this young man, this is not in itself newsworthy. No wonder people roll their eyes at all this unending insipud identifarian drivel rolling off one gay media conveyer belt on to the next.

    • DarkZephyr

      You become more and more unpleasantly intolerable with every mean spirited post.

    • Juanjo

      Speaking of “unending insipud identifarian drivel” you seem to be spouting quite a bit of it this year.

    • PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID

      DarkZephyr: you’re wrong but I have always liked you and respected your viewpoint, so this is sad to me. Lets be clear, they posted this because Pink News posted this first. That’s it. No other reason. At least Pink News justified this threadbare non-story iwith a tagged on earlier story about the rise of increasing number of gen Z identifying as other-than+straight.

      Imagine the LGBT stories and arts coverage we COULD be getting and are currently not because of low effort cut & paste recycled tripe like this. Again, no disrespect to this nice young man. He deserves better too.

      Juanjo: you, however, are a cretin undeserving of even the basest contempt. But I’ll do what I can for you. Stay tuned.

  • thisisnotreal

    While I agree that this generations idea of coming out and making it a big public spectacle on Twitter or instagram or tv sort of sensationalizes the whole thing beyond what it needs to be, I think it helps to remind ourselves that however people “come out” it’s still a big step for them to do so and probably caused them a lot of self doubt and fear and worry along the way.

    Coming out doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be this big grandstanding affair to earn internet or media points. I always thought it should be about coming to peace and acceptance with who you are and having enough courage to finally own it to people and live your life as your genuine self. But regardless of how it’s done, it still represents someone’s personal journey towards the human being they become at the end of it and grandstanding or not that is something to celebrate.

    • Jack Meoff

      Personally I am just happy that young people feel able to come out as who they really are no matter how they choose to do it instead of living in fear in the closet like my generation did. We live in the social media age where people make internet posts about every minute detail of their lives so why should coming out be any different and perhaps other youths who see coming out videos will gain strength and courage from it. So what if some old jaded dinosaurs sit back and roll their eyes at it. If it is achieving positivity then bring it on.

  • Biness

    We need both (1) beacons (role models, examples, you are not alone kind of stuff) and (2) authenticity. Bi people should know if they disclose, it won’t be so bad. The audience might applaud. They might encounter support and community, not derision.

    I might agree that these days coming out as gay or lesbian isn’t terribly newsworthy, but we’re not yet there for bi people–more than a few of whom are passing as straight or even gay.

    • alfred

      lmao…for some reason I suspect this young lad wont be the ‘beacon of bi-ness’ that you are hoping for….

  • Terrycloth

    I think he sincerely surprised himself by those words as they left his lips..I don’t think he actually planned it.he stood up and there it was too late to turn back..some relief but wondering what’s gonna happen when he gets home and all of his school mates who either watche’d this or heard about it…kudos..good luck kid

  • Kangol

    I disagree that it’s not a big deal. A significant portion of people older than 45-50 still harbor strong anti-gay views, most established churches and religions are against LGBTQI sexualities, and it’s also crucial to hear from younger generations about their attitudes on the world. On top of this, students are still being bullied for being gay, bi, trans, etc.

    Within the last week two news stories highlight this, and they’re only among many this year: in Missouri, three 20-somethings brutally killed and gouged out the eyes and genitals of a young trans woman, and her family refuses even to use the female or a gender-neutral pronoun to describe her; also, a Bronx teen was repeatedly bullied and harassed, and lashed out at two tormenters (though not the kids who had been repeatedly bullying him) by stabbing one to death. In a case just the other, a trans Newark student was brutally beaten by bullies in the school.

    And within the past month, Georgia State University cops allegedly shot dead a trans student who was struggling with mental health issues. This is not just “indentifarian” stuff, it’s still a matter of life and death for quite a few people.

  • Kieran

    For a 16 year old, saying “I’m bisexual” probably isn’t quite as hard and doesn’t sound as bad as saying “I’m gay” given all the relentless stereotyping of gay people. But the reality is, most straight people who hear “bisexual” automatically think “homosexual” anyway.

  • Jaxton

    All men have homosexual impulses but most won’t admit it because of women. If a man brings up the issue of homosexual impulses to his wife or girlfriend, it usually leads to rejection by her of him.

    Why do women reject men in such circumstances? It’s because her relationship with him is based on the idea that the woman holds the power of consent in any relationship.

    Once a man admits he has homosexual impulses, it robs her of this illusion. It destroys her business model. As a gender, she is dis-empowered.

    This is why women are the biggest threat to male bisexuality.

    • radiooutmike

      The truth is right here.

      I never about it with any women I’ve ever slept with, except for one, my future ex-wife. I knew we had a serious relationship…So I wanted to disclose that I had homosexual experiences.

      I figured she’d say, “That’s cool” or something vaguely supportive but non-committal. Nope. I got a shocked look, and a “You don’t want to do that again, do you?”

  • Me2

    Good for him!!!! It’s his life and he should be able to come out on his terms. I hope he finds support among family & friends to make it easier for him to continue living his truth.

  • Nahald

    Why doesn’t he call himself heteroflexible. That seems to fit “bisexuals” better.

  • Notright

    I’m sorry but now ‘coming out’ has just become a publicity stunt. Especially if they claim to be ‘bisexual’. Yeah right you mean like ‘buy me sexual so i can get free publicity’. It’s really an insult to those of us in the LGBT community who have to live the life everyday of being lgbtq.

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